German European School Manila Students Experience Enlightening Day at FGS Mabuhay Temple

 |2023.10.02
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The visit to Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple was not just a cultural exchange; it was a heart-warming experience that fostered mutual understanding and left a lasting impression on the young minds. photo/The Life News Agency

The Life News Agency
October 2, 2023


On a crisp morning on September 28th, 23 eager students, and their teachers from the German European School Manila, embarked on an enlightening journey to the serene Fo Guang Shan (FGS) Mabuhay Temple in Manila.

23 eager students, and their teachers from the German European School Manila, embarked on an enlightening journey to the serene FGS Mabuhay Temple in Manila. photo/The Life News Agency

The group consisted of eight-year-old children representing a multitude of international backgrounds, hailing from Germany, Finland, China, Israel, and Japan. They were under the thoughtful guidance of a group of teachers, with their head teacher, Rebecca Gillen, a native of England.

Upon their arrival, the group was warmly welcomed by Marlene Lao, the secretary of the Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA), who would serve as their gracious host for the day. Lao initiated the visit by introducing the students to a beautiful tradition at the temple - the act of light offering. She explained the significance of this practice, symbolizing wisdom, and guided the students in making their own heartfelt wishes as they offered lights to the Buddha in the Main Shrine Hall. The children, with their eyes filled with wonder, eagerly participated, creating a serene and meaningful atmosphere.

The children, with their eyes filled with wonder, eagerly participated, creating a serene and meaningful atmosphere. photo/The Life News Agency

After the light offering, the students were introduced to two venerable, Venerable Zhiyi and Venerable Zhipu, who, alongside Marlene Lao, were excited to impart their wisdom and share the teachings of Buddha with the young, curious minds.

The students, inquisitive and fascinated, didn't hold back their questions. photo/The Life News Agency

Venerable Zhipu, with an engaging storytelling style, narrated the stories of Buddha, capturing the children's attention with captivating anecdotes. The students, inquisitive and fascinated, didn't hold back their questions. They asked about Buddha's distinctive features, like his long ears, his place of origin, his attire, and even his unique hairstyle. Venerable Zhipu, with a serene smile, answered each question with great patience and insight, fostering an atmosphere of open dialogue and understanding.

Venerable Zhiyi, recognizing the children's curiosity, encouraged them to look at the statue of Buddha and, in their own way, communicate with him. photo/The Life News Agency

Venerable Zhiyi, recognizing the children's curiosity, encouraged them to look at the statue of Buddha and, in their own way, communicate with him. She masterfully explained the Three Acts of Goodness (TAG) through counter-questioning the students. She drew parallels between TAG and the children's daily lives, stressing the importance of doing good deeds, speaking kind words, and cultivating positive thoughts.

The students joyfully learned the TAG song, which they would take back with them as a reminder to practice these acts of goodness in their lives. photo/The Life News Agency

As an interactive and memorable takeaway, the students joyfully learned the TAG song, which they would take back with them as a reminder to practice these acts of goodness in their lives. Additionally, each child received a TAG bracelet, a tangible reminder of their day at the temple and a symbol of their commitment to leading a life filled with good deeds and positive intentions.

Each child received a TAG bracelet, a tangible reminder of their day at the temple and a symbol of their commitment to leading a life filled with good deeds and positive intentions. photo/The Life News Agency

Venerable Zhiyi, in her closing remarks, emphasized the idea that kindness, compassion, and understanding could lead to a harmonious and peaceful world. She encouraged the young students to carry the lessons they had learned into their lives and to be beacons of light in their communities.

The visit to Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple was not just a cultural exchange; it was a heart-warming experience that fostered mutual understanding and left a lasting impression on the young minds. As the German European School Manila students departed, they did so with a newfound appreciation for the teachings of Buddha and a commitment to practice the Three Acts of Goodness in their daily lives. This day at the temple was not just a field trip; it was a journey of enlightenment and self-discovery that will stay with these young students for a lifetime.

As the German European School Manila students departed, they did so with a newfound appreciation for the teachings of Buddha and a commitment to practice the Three Acts of Goodness in their daily lives. photo/The Life News Agency

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